Energy Drainers

Energy Drainers

Making a change – those who drain your energy

Energy drainers – if you are involved with any kind of change you will find it drains your energy. Energy will drain as you come to terms with new situations. energy drainersand deal with confusion. You will have to deal as well with anxiety – your own, and other people’s.  You will find yourself giving out lots of your energy in support of others.  But some people seem to take just a little too much – more than you can afford to give if you are going to stay fit for the task ahead.

We all feel insecure in the middle of change but energy drainers are usually people who are insecure and negative in their everyday life. Quite often they find it difficult to tolerate their own company. You may find people like this start to depend upon you to help them make all kinds of relatively simple life decisions.  They may phone or text you several times a day on any pretext – they can eat you as well as your time and sap your life force!

Energy drainers don’t know how to tap into their personal energy reserves to survive

Very often these sad people are stuck in “Survival Mode.”  They don’t know how to tap into their personal energy reserves to survive. Like children, they haven’t accepted responsibility for their own lives. But they find many ways, including emotional blackmail,  to persuade you to give them the emotional support  and the reassurance they need.  Life is frightening and they are very scared indeed!

We all know people like this. They might be old friends, family or work colleagues. You want to help but their needs are overwhelming.

So, what do you do?

Keep in mind that you may need to conserve your energy to manage a complex change.  If they are part of the change, you are certainly not going to be in a position to cut them out of your life.  Anyway, at the end of the day, most of us would actually like to be in a place to help.

The stance you take depends upon your relationship with the person and the level of your energy reserves. However, your first responsibility is to yourself. You, too, may have to adopt a “Survival Mode” attitude.

It is certainly much easier to deal with someone who is an acquaintance or a work colleague. You have no personal commitment to them and you have every right to say goodbye when you finish work.

Dealing with energy drainers

Always try to stay in a neutral space when talking to them.  Give neutral responses and try not to get drawn into their, or your, emotions.  When you deal with them, imagine you are wearing a breastplate to defend your energy – withhold your energy behind your breastplate. Deliver a neutral, and deliberately, low energy response. Offer no more and no less than is necessary to carry out the transaction.

As a personal survival technique, this approach is also applicable for family and old friends. However, you may choose to take a more compassionate and supportive stance by demonstrating “tough love.” Your goal here is to move them on from negative to positive. You want to move them back into using their own energy resources. In this way, you can help them to become self-sufficient.  Get them to think through their own options – to make choices and plan.  When they do so give them lots of quiet praise – move them on from whining to thinking about concrete ways they can help themselves!

Dealing with emotional blackmail

Be aware, though, that energy drainers will resort to many forms of subtle emotional blackmail to get access to your energy. Don’t let them! Let them know, through your actions, that your energy is no longer accessible to them. Encourage them to make decisions on their own and to enjoy their own company by simply not being available: physically or emotionally.

It will not be easy for you or them. You are breaking established patterns of behaviour and setting a new precedent. But eventually a new dynamic should be established. They should begin to take responsibility for their own life and their own decisions.

You may have to support them through a change as part of your role but do so in a managed way! With friends and family, if they will not take action, success will be impossible. So recognise when you have banged your head once too often against that proverbial brick. It may be the wisest step is simply to “let go.”

If you need help dealing with your energy drainer, please get in touch

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

 

STAR Stories Make You a Star!

STAR Stories Make You a Star!

STAR Stories – Writing STAR stories is a way to prepare not only to write your CV but also to answer questions at interview.  This will be particularly important if the organisation you want to join, or contract with, is committed to competency based interviewing  or wants evidence of what you have done so far!  Your STAR stories help to provide evidence of just how competent you are.
 
And preparing your STAR stories can also be a real boost to your self confidence, particularly if you are going through a difficult period at work.
 
Writing your stories
 
The STAR method means that for each of your major achievements you will set out the;
  • S – Situation, the background – when where, who and why
  • T – Task or tasks, you need to be specific here – exactly what were you required to do and what was the required outcome?
  • A – Action, what you did and what skills you used, how you behaved
  • R – Result – Outcome, what happened – what were the benefits and how could you measure them?   How did the organisation respond?
People like hearing a well told story.  And telling your stories well will ensure you are memorable for the right reasons; so long as they are not too long, they remain positive and they are realistic!
 
You will not put all detail from your STAR stories into your CV, but it really helps to remind yourself of the past.
 
At this stage I want you to go right back to the beginning of your career. 
  1. Use your laptop or simply get a notebook and note down all the good things you have achieved. We are talking here about your personal successes
  2. Don’t spend time on the things that you don’t feel good about
    !  But a whole programme
    or initiative doesn’t have to have been a success for your part of it to be something you are proud of!  
  3. Now pick at least 10 achievements across your career. It will help you later if you include at least five from the more recent past.  But there is no limit to how many STAR stores you can produce.
  4. For each achievement, write a STAR story, setting out what happened and clearly explaining your contribution.
  5. Of course you can write as much or as little as you like about each success.  But at this stage about one page of A4 for each is usually sufficient.
  6. Start with your early achievements and work forward. 
  7. Do your research if necessary about times, places and events.  You are building a portfolio to be proud of so make sure your stories are accurate!
  8. After you have completed each story take a pause and review!  Enjoy your success.  When you have completed five lay them out before them and feel proud – I bet you had forgotten how good your were!   
  9. When you are ready, type them up and print them out on good quality paper!  
  10. Put them in a folder with your name on the front!  

You have begun – your job search portfolio has its foundations. 

By the way STAR stories don’t have to be confined to paid employment.  Have you had a voluntary role? Are there things you have done for your local community?  Well write the stories and put them in!  They will all serve to show just what a valuable and competent person you really are!
 
And I would love to hear how you get on.  If you have any questions or you need help, please get in touch.


Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

3 ways you can develop the confidence you need to become self-employed

confidence

Today we have a guest post from Antoinette Oglethorpe.  Antoinette  specialises in helping business leaders and professionals take control of their careers and realise their ambitions. Her special report on “How to become self-employed confidently & successfully” is available at www.takingtheplungeseries.com

3 ways you can develop the confidence you need to become self-employed

To move successfully into self-employment you need to believe in yourself, your capability and your ability to make things happen.  In essence, you need to know you can make it a success whatever happens.

No-one is going to be totally self-confident all the time.  As a very successful business man once said “If things are going really well you can’t get over-excited because you’re not a genius; but if things get difficult you can’t get too downhearted because you’re not a fool either”

Sometimes the biggest risk is doing nothing and without risk there is likely to be no reward.

Here are 3 ways you can use a simple 1 to 10 scale to develop the confidence you will need to become self-employed.

  1. Personal reflection.  Thinking about a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is that you have total confidence you can make a success of self-employment and 1 is no confidence at all, where would you put yourself today?  Now the typical inclination of most people is to then focus on all the reasons they’re not at 10.  Instead of that, I’m going to suggest that you think about all the things that put you as high as you are – however high that is – and not lower.  What knowledge do you have that will help?  What skills do you have that will help?  What experience do you have that will help?  What aspects of your personality will help?  What other transitions have you made in your life in the past?  What helped in those cases?
  1. Feedback from others.  Think about all the feedback you have had from others – friends, family, colleagues, and previous bosses.  What do other people know and say about you that gives you confidence?  Ask them for their honest answers to the above questions.
  1. Focus on small steps.  Focussing on trying to get to 10 can have the opposite effect to the one you’re trying to achieve.  It can seem such a far way off that it paralyses and demotivates you.  So don’t worry about 10 for now.  Instead, think about what would be different if you were just one point higher up the scale.  Would you have developed a particular skill? Would you have obtained feedback from other self-employed individuals?  Would you have researched your business idea or something else?   What needs to happen to increase your confidence by one point?  What small first steps could you take to move towards that?

By thinking about what’s already giving you confidence, getting feedback from others and focussing on small steps you can break it down to some immediate, manageable actions that you can take to make progress.

Antoinette Oglethorpe specialises in helping business leaders and professionals take control of their careers and realise their ambitions. Her special report on “How to become self-employed confidently & successfully” is available at www.takingtheplungeseries.com.

Building Your Portfolio – STAR Stories Make You a Star!

>

I hope that we are going to provide you with lots of resources here to help you move into your new life, including advice on writing your CV.  

If you want to find work, directly employed or as a contractor, you are going to need to describe your achievements so far. Getting ready to do that can be a real boost to your self confidence, if you go about it in the right way.

Writing STAR stories is a way to prepare not only to write your CV but also to answer questions at interview.  This will be particularly important if the organisation you want to join, or contract with, is committed to competency based interviewing  or wants evidence of what you have done so far!  Your STAR stories help to provide evidence of just how competent you are.

But preparing your STAR stories can also be a real boost to your self confidence, particularly if you are going through a difficult period at work.

Writing your stories

The STAR method means that for each of your major achievements you will set out the;
  • S – Situation, the background – when where, who and why
  • T – Task or tasks, you need to be specific here – exactly what were you required to do and what was the required outcome?
  • A – Action, what you did and what skills you used, how you behaved
  • R – Result – Outcome, what happened – what were the benefits and how could you measure them?   How did the organisation respond?
People like hearing a well told story.  And telling your stories well will ensure you are memorable for the right reasons; so long as they are not too long, they remain positive and they are realistic!

You will not put all detail from your STAR stories into your CV, but it really helps to remind yourself of the past.

At this stage I want you to go right back to the beginning of your career. 
  1. Use your laptop or simply get a notebook and note down all the good things you have achieved. We are talking here about your personal successes
  2. Don’t spend time on the things that you don’t feel good about!  But a whole programmeor initiative doesn’t have to have been a success for your part of it to be something you are proud of!  
  3. Now pick at least 10 achievements across your career. It will help you later if you include at least five from the more recent past.  But there is no limit to how many STAR stores you can produce.
  4. For each achievement, write a STAR story, setting out what happened and clearly explaining your contribution.
  5. Of course you can write as much or as little as you like about each success.  But at this stage about one page of A4 for each is usually sufficient.
  6. Start with your early achievements and work forward. 
  7. Do your research if necessary about times, places and events.  You are building a portfolio to be proud of so make sure your stories are accurate!
  8. After you have completed each story take a pause and review!  Enjoy your success.  When you have completed five lay them out before them and feel proud – I bet you had forgotten how good your were!   
  9. When you are ready, type them up and print them out on good quality paper!  
  10. Put them in a folder with your name on the front!  

You have begun – your portfolio has its foundations.

By the way STAR stories don’t have to be confined to paid employment.  Have you had a voluntary role? Are there things you have done for your local community?  Well write the stories and put them in!  They will all serve to show just what a valuable and competent person you really are!

And I would love to hear how you get on.  
Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason
@wisewolfcoaching.com

>Building Your Portfolio – STAR Stories Make You a Star!

>

I hope that we are going to provide you with lots of resources here to help you move into your new life, including advice on writing your CV.  

If you want to find work, directly employed or as a contractor, you are going to need to describe your achievements so far. Getting ready to do that can be a real boost to your self confidence, if you go about it in the right way.

Writing STAR stories is a way to prepare not only to write your CV but also to answer questions at interview.  This will be particularly important if the organisation you want to join, or contract with, is committed to competency based interviewing  or wants evidence of what you have done so far!  Your STAR stories help to provide evidence of just how competent you are.

But preparing your STAR stories can also be a real boost to your self confidence, particularly if you are going through a difficult period at work.

Writing your stories

The STAR method means that for each of your major achievements you will set out the;
  • S – Situation, the background – when where, who and why
  • T – Task or tasks, you need to be specific here – exactly what were you required to do and what was the required outcome?
  • A – Action, what you did and what skills you used, how you behaved
  • R – Result – Outcome, what happened – what were the benefits and how could you measure them?   How did the organisation respond?
People like hearing a well told story.  And telling your stories well will ensure you are memorable for the right reasons; so long as they are not too long, they remain positive and they are realistic!

You will not put all detail from your STAR stories into your CV, but it really helps to remind yourself of the past.

At this stage I want you to go right back to the beginning of your career. 
  1. Use your laptop or simply get a notebook and note down all the good things you have achieved. We are talking here about your personal successes
  2. Don’t spend time on the things that you don’t feel good about
    !  But a whole programme
    or initiative doesn’t have to have been a success for your part of it to be something you are proud of!  
  3. Now pick at least 10 achievements across your career. It will help you later if you include at least five from the more recent past.  But there is no limit to how many STAR stores you can produce.
  4. For each achievement, write a STAR story, setting out what happened and clearly explaining your contribution.
  5. Of course you can write as much or as little as you like about each success.  But at this stage about one page of A4 for each is usually sufficient.
  6. Start with your early achievements and work forward. 
  7. Do your research if necessary about times, places and events.  You are building a portfolio to be proud of so make sure your stories are accurate!
  8. After you have completed each story take a pause and review!  Enjoy your success.  When you have completed five lay them out before them and feel proud – I bet you had forgotten how good your were!   
  9. When you are ready, type them up and print them out on good quality paper!  
  10. Put them in a folder with your name on the front!  

You have begun – your portfolio has its foundations.


By the way STAR stories don’t have to be confined to paid employment.  Have you had a voluntary role? Are there things you have done for your local community?  Well write the stories and put them in!  They will all serve to show just what a valuable and competent person you really are!

And I would love to hear how you get on.  

If you have any questions or you need help, please get in touch with me at wendymason@leavingthepublicsector.net



Wendy Mason is used to working with people moving out of the Public Sector! She is a performance, programme, contract management and change specialist. She works as a consultant, business coach and blogger.  Adept at problem solving, she is a great person to bring in when that one thing you thought was straightforward turns out not to be! If you have a problem talk to Wendy – she can help you – email her at wendymason@leavingthepublicsector.net or ring ++44(0)7867681439
You can find her business blog at www.wisewolftalking.com &nbsp
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Do you wear a mask at work? Can you be yourself at work or even at home?

I’ve always had a dilemma!  I have spent much of my life trying to reconcile the needs of my interesting and satisfying professional life as a manager and consultant, with my spiritual and creative life as a seeker and a poet! For many years, I would rarely let my work colleagues know anything about my other interests!  Even now I exercise a degree of caution in who I tell and how! But life running my own business does mean that I have greater freedom to make my own choices! I was lucky, as I say above I enjoyed my life as a manager and I now enjoy the work I do as a consultant.  I could express myself in both my worlds!

But there are many who are far less lucky than me! Some of us cannot be ourselves at home, let alone at work!  And there is a penalty to pay from the time we spend adapting to meet the needs of others; time we spend pretending to be someone we are not! We can damage our health far more than we probably realise!

Dr Katherine Benziger is a pioneer and leading expert in her field. She has given three decades of teaching and research in psychology working to help people understand, value and use their own and other people’s natural gifts! Her work has focused on the proper and ethical development and application of personality assessment in the global business environment. Significantly, Dr Benziger prefers the term personality assessing, rather than personality testing, to describe her approach. She is keen to distance herself from the ‘personality testing’ industry, which puts the needs of the organisation ahead of the individuals who make it up!

Dr Benziger believes, in simple terms, that there are four different areas of one part of the human brain (the processing section or neocortex) that equate to four different types of human behaviour.

SENSING/BASAL LEFT The fundamental goal of the Basal Left/Sensation Type is to have the fullest possible experience of what is immediate and real, in order to be able to produce dependably. For this reason, the Basal Left is said to contribute or be responsible for the productive foundations in life.

FEELING/BASAL RIGHT The fundamental goal of the Basal Right/Feeling Type is to create harmony, connectedness and good will in the community. For this reason, the Basal Right is said to contribute or be responsible for the peaceful foundations in life.

INTUITION/FRONTAL RIGHT The fundamental goal of the Frontal Right/Intuitive Type is to discover the furthest reaches of the possible, in order to perceive new patterns, invent new solutions, or solve “theoretically insurmountable” problems. For this reason, the Frontal Right is said to contribute or be responsible for the adaptive in life.

THINKING/FRONTAL LEFT The fundamental goal of the Frontal Left/Thinking Type is to create rational order and make sound plans and decisions based on logical analysis. For this reason, the Frontal Left is said to contribute or be responsible for the Directing or Prioritizing function in life.

She believes that each of us is born with a hard-wired connectivity in one of the four areas which usually leads to how we interpret the world around us and how we react to it.  It results in personality styles, thinking styles, behaviour styles or communication styles.

Dr Benziger’s work has focussed on the common tendency of people in work, whether being assessed or not, to adapt their natural thinking and working styles to fit expectations of others.   This can apply both at home and at work! It can be a particular issue for women as many of us strive to be good partners, as well as successful mothers and supportive carers for our elder relatives! The result is tension and stress.  People become increasingly unhappy and ineffective, if they behave in unnatural ways! Much of Dr Benziger’s work focuses on dealing with these issues and the costs of this pressure to adapt.

Dr Arlene Taylor has been a leading specialist in ‘wellness’ since 1980, and has collaborated with Dr Benziger for much of that time.  Arlene Taylor’s work has confirmed, and builds on, Benziger’s observations about the cost of adapting!  Her work has included identifying anecdotally a collection of symptoms. The complete family of symptoms which Dr Arlene Taylor identified within PASS (Prolonged Adaption Stress Syndrome), as linked to Benziger’s work the “Falsification of Type”, are:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Hyper-vigilance
  3. Immune system alterations
  4. Memory impairment
  5. Altered brain chemistry
  6. Diminished frontal lobe functions
  7. Discouragement and or depression
  8. Self-esteem problems

So what does this mean for us as leaders and managers of groups of people at work? Remember that any personality assessment or psychometrics test can be skewed!  This is particularly likely if someone is practised at falsifying their type and spends their time continually trying to be someone they are not. Don’t rely solely on the results of such tests when you are recruiting. Get to know the people who work with you, and for you.  Make sure they know that you value difference in your team!  Don’t put pressure on them to confirm to a stereotype – value the differences between them!

We need to recognise that we are cannot all be good at everything and it is legitimate for us to do less well at some things and better at others! It is also OK for us not all to like or want the same things!   Don’t increase the pressure with unrealistic expectations of yourself and others. Be aware of the people around you and learn to recognise when they are showing the signs of stress!  It could be that they are trying too hard to live up to your expectations and that is causing the problem!  Make sure your expectations of yourself and others are legitimate and that they are reasonable!

You can find our more about Dr Benziger and her work at this link.

TIME ONCE AGAIN FOR YOUR DECEMBER LIFE STOCKTAKE?

Last year I suggested we should take regular stock of our lives, just as we go to see the dentist for a regular check up! We all know we should do it!  But many of us don’t!   Most of us would gain from a simple check up once a year!  December is a superb time to take stock both on a professional and a personal level.  We can then begin to  think through our plans for next year and how we are going to make it brilliant! So come with me –  get your pad and pen and follow this link to my guidance on making a start.

 

On dressing, distressing and the dangers of group think!

I watched the Weakest Link last night.  Anne Robinson was clearly in good form!  I missed most of the opening round but I did see the first departure and that made me wonder.  Dave was voted off mainly, apparently,  for his rather flamboyant shirt and the distraction it caused for others.  He hadn’t got any of the questions wrong.  For me his response to going was confusing!   He had a fairly fixed smile on his face as he commented that no one would be surprised as he was expected to have ago at things and fail.

For me this raises a number of challenging issues:

  • Dressing for the programme/part/job really does make a difference! For this group, certainly how you dressed mattered.  When faced with making a choice, even when all other things were equal, the shirt was the deciding factor.
  • Believing you are going to fail usually means you do! If you don’t see yourself as a success, and don’t have the confidence that flows from that vision, then you begin to behave as if failure has already happened.  The energy level drops  and, guess what, down you fall from your tightrope!
  • Standing out from the crowd is risky!  Choosing to stand out from the crowd is always brave but to some degree it is usually required for real success.  It is risky! You put yourself apart from the group and that can mean they turn on you!  If you are already reconciled to failure this can be very risky indeed!  It is very easy to slip into the role of victim and that can lead to bullying – see the point below!
  • Group think can be damage. I doubt these nice middle class contestants would have commented so publicly on someone’s dress, in a group with different values.  In a group it is very easy for us to take on group values and sometimes even slip into the habit of criticising to the point of bullying and destroying someone else’s confidence.   Do the groups you belong to reflect your own values? As a manager – what steps do you take to monitor the values of the groups you lead and how do you intervene to protect potential victims?

I would be very interested in your views on the issues raised here.  Have you been in a group that regarded you as ‘different’?  What happened and how did you handle it?  Have you found yourself managing a group that developed values different from those you would of chosen? What did you do?

WHAT IS BUSINESS COACHING?

Business coaching is a powerful approach for those wanting to develop their own careers, or those of their staff, and people facing career transition.

  • Improve leadership and management skills
  • Think through options and develop successful action plans
  • Communicate with people at all levels with authority and confidence
  • Motivate teams and turn them into high performing and highly motivated units
  • Increase commitment to organizational goals

HOW WILL I BENEFIT FROM COACHING? Coaching enhances your ability to learn, create, make desired changes, and achieve goals. In a coaching relationship, your coach works with you to:

  • Get clear about what you want to accomplish
  • Solve problems and eliminate obstacles
  • Set specific goals and make effective action plans
  • Learn new skills and techniques
  • Gain perspective, get feedback, and discover new ideas
  • Stay true to your vision, focused on your goals, and on track with your plans

WHO BECOMES A COACHING CLIENT? Business coaching is appropriate for any manager or professional who wishes to reach their full potential or manage an enforced change to best advantage.

Wendy Mason has depth of experience as a manager, consultant, coach and mentor.

She specializes in supporting people and organizations, particularly those going through change and transformation.  She provides a discrete business coaching service for those wanting to develop their own careers, or those of their staff and people facing career transition. She is used to working with people from diverse backgrounds and her experience includes public, private and voluntary sectors. You can find her full resume on LinkedIn at http://uk.linkedin.com/in/wendymasonwisewolf

WHEN DO I NEED A BUSINESS COACH? You should consider working with a coach when you are:

  • Wanting to improve the way you carry out your present role
  • Newly promoted
  • Moving from a professional/technical role to general manager
  • Taking on major new project
  • Getting ready for the next promotion
  • Contemplating a career change
  • Wanting to do career stock take before planning for the future
  • Starting a new business
  • Choosing to make significant changes in how your business or organization works
  • Having trouble managing people, projects, or time
  • Facing significant changes in how your business or organization works
  • Facing an enforced personal change like redundancy

IS COACHING DIFFERENT FROM CONSULTING? Yes… and no. Traditional consulting focuses on offering external solutions and prescriptive advice. Coaching facilitates the discovery of answers that are uniquely your own. Your coach provides guidance, expertise, recommendations, and skill-building techniques whenever they are useful, but doesn’t do things for you, nor tell you exactly what to do. Coaching is typically more allied to training or mentoring than it is to consulting, because the emphasis is on your own learning and experience rather than on specific answers provided by an outside expert. Your coach will supply you with ideas, resources, models, and systems that are proven to work, but won’t hand you a completed action plan nor assert that there’s only one right way to accomplish your goals.

HOW DO I GET STARTED? One-on-one coaching can happen in one to one meetings or over the phone. You may offer ongoing coaching or single sessions. You may also choose coaching for your management, project team or work group.
Ongoing coaching relationships begin with an initial session to create an overall strategy. Regular coaching sessions are the held weekly, biweekly, or monthly.
Single or “a la carte” coaching sessions are available at an hourly rate. Your first session has a one-hour minimum; subsequent sessions may be shorter if desired.
On-site team coaching is available in half-day or full-day sessions. You may also wish to consider follow-up group sessions via teleconference.

COACHING WORKS. Find out more about what coaching can do for you! To arrange a free confidential, exploratory discussion please email  wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com or, if you prefer, call ++44(0)7867681439 and speak to Wendy.

MANAGING CHANGE – WHAT TO DO ABOUT ENERGY DRAINERS

If you are involved with any kind of change you will find it drains your energy as you come to terms with new situations, deal with confusion and your own, and other people’s, anxieties.  You will find yourself giving out lots of your energy in support of others.  But some people seem to take just a little too much – more than you can afford to give if you are going to stay fit for the task ahead.

We all feel insecure in the middle of change but energy drainers are usually people who are insecure and negative in their everyday life – quite often they find it difficult to tolerate their own company. You may find people like this start to depend upon you to help them make all kinds of relatively simple life decisions.  They may phone or text you several times a day on any pretext – they can eat you as well as your time and sap your life force!

Very often these sad people are stuck in “Survival Mode.”  They don’t know how to tap into their personal energy reserves to survive and like children, they haven’t accepted responsibility for their own lives. But they find a variety of ways, including emotional blackmail,  to persuade you to provide them with the emotional support  and the reassurance they need.  Life is frightening and they are very scared indeed!

We all know people like this – they can be old friends, family and work colleagues.  You want to help but their needs are overwhelming.

So, what do you do?  Keep in mind that you may need to conserve your energy to manage a complex change.   If they are part of the change, you are certainly not going to be in a position to cut them out of your ife.  Anyway, at the end of the day, most of us would actually like to be in a position to help.

The stance you take depends upon what your relationship with the person is, and upon the level of your energy reserves. However, your first responsibility is to yourself. You, too, may have to adopt a “Survival Mode” attitude.

It is certainly much easier to deal with someone who is an acquaintance or a work colleague. You have no personal commitment to them and you have every right to say goodbye when you finish work.

When you are dealing with them try to stay in a neutral space – give neutral responses and try not to get drawn into their or your emotions.  When you dealing with them, imagine you are wearing a breastplate to defend your energy – withhold your energy behind your breastplate – deliver a neutral, and deliberately, low energy response. Offer no more and no less than is necessary to accomplish the transaction.

As a personal survival technique, this approach is also applicable for family and old friends. However, you may choose to take a more compassionate and supportive stance,- demonstrate your love but it may be “tough love.” Your goal here is to move them from negative to positive and to move them back into using their own energy resources. In this way, you can help them to become self-sufficient.  Get them to think through their own options – to make choices and plan.  When they do so give them lots of quiet praise – move them on from whining to thinking about concrete ways they can help themselves!

Be aware, though, that Energy Drainers will resort to many forms of subtle emotional blackmail to get access to your energy. Don’t let them! Let them know, through your actions, that your energy is no longer accessible to them. Encourage them to make decisions on their own and to enjoy their own company by simply not being available: physically or emotionally.

It will not be easy for you or them.  You are breaking established patterns of behavior and setting a brand new precedent. But eventually a new dynamic should be established.  They should take responsibility for their own life and their own decisions.  You may have to support them through a change as part of your role but do so in a managed way! With friends and family, if they will not take action, success will be impossible. So recognize when you have banged your head once too often against that proverbial brick wall and when the wisest step is simply to “let go.”